What Anti-Common Core Activism in Tennessee Portends
Across the country, from Florida to Michigan, Colorado to Alabama, and many states in between, legislators and governors are taking steps to withdraw from Common Core. Nationally, US Senators Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley, Rand Paul and others are working to de-fund it, citing federal law prohibiting the government from directing education standards and testing at the state level. Opposition is growing among a broad spectrum. Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, the second largest teachers union in the country, said earlier this week: “The Common Core is in trouble. There is a serious backlash in lots of different ways, on the right and on the left.”
On Tuesday, Pioneer Institute participated in a rally in Tennessee, a public hearing about the major problems with Common Core, before an audience of several hundred concerned citizens. Watch a clip below from The Tennessean, which covered the event:
The Common Core Panel Discussion, held in Cool Springs, TN, took place before an audience of several legislators, parents, teachers, and school board members seeking to learn more. Featured panelists included Bill Evers, research fellow at Hoover Institute and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education; Lindsey Burke, Education Policy Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; Jamie Gass, Education Policy Director at Pioneer Institute; Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow with the American Principle Project; and Emmet McGroarty, also with the American Principles Project. Kevin Kookogey was the host. Each panel member gave a 12 minute presentation, after which there was a Q&A session.
The increasing number of states considering withdrawal should come as no surprise, given that there are serious questions surrounding whether states’ adoption of Common Core was truly “voluntary,” as proponents claim. The full picture is less clear – and grassroots activists are rising up against what they view as a mandate imposed by DC-based bureaucrats and special interests, using federal incentives to wrest control from parents and local school boards, without so much as a public hearing.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan has publicly dismissed past opposition as a “conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy,” but Pioneer Institute research authored by national education policy experts has raised important questions about the initiative’s legality, implementation costs, and academic quality – questions that have largely gone unanswered. Visit Pioneer’s Common Core Toolbox to read our research.
Since 2009, Pioneer has long argued that instead of pushing an unproven, one-size-fits-all approach to raising student performance, policymakers who truly care about our children’s future should look to the examples set by many states that have already succeeded – starting right here in Massachusetts. And judging by the momentum building all around the country, policymakers ignore these parents’ concerns at their own peril.
The Wall Street Journal: New School Standards Spur a Backlash
The Hill: GOP — White House taking over state education policy
Washington Post: Turmoil swirling around Common Core education standards
Washington Times: Common Core school standards hit another roadblock, this time in Indiana
Washington Times: Indiana legislature latest to halt application of Common Core school standards
Michigan: Michigan House Blocks Common Core Implementation
Michigan: Michigan Pulling Away from Common Core
Atlanta: Are we rushing Common Core without field testing it?
New York Daily News: Teachers union chief Randi Weingarten has it correct on Common Core
Washington Post: AFT’s Weingarten urges moratorium on high stakes linked to Common Core tests
Washington Examiner: AFT’s Randi Weingarten calls for time out on Common Core testing
Fox News/NY: Common Core standards facing criticism
NJ: Concern Expressed Over Common Core System and Privacy Issues
Indy Star: Hoosiers are right to be wary about Common Core
Mississippi: Beware of the Common Core State Standards
OH: Teachers Union Worried About Common Core Tests
OH: Growing criticism of Common Core
NH: Common core education talk draws opponents in Manchester
TN: Common Core pushback in TN
TN: New common core standards raise questions in Tenn.
TN: New Common Core Standards Raise Questions
TN: Critics speak out about new Common Core standards
Huff Post: Common Core Stakes Moratorium Proposed By Unions As National Standards Face Backlash
AZ: Common Core draws praise, pejoratives
PA: Opponents say Common Core oversimplifies education, lessens local control
FL: Who Supports, Opposes The Common Core?
Christian Post: Eight US Senators Join Fight Against Common Core
WY: The dangers of ‘Common Core’